World experts on spoken language processing and robotics gathered in Germany for a Dagstuhl Seminar on "Spoken Language Interaction with Virtual Agents and Robots" (SLIVAR)
In January 2020, world experts on spoken language processing and robotics gathered in Germany for a Dagstuhl Seminar on "Spoken Language Interaction with Virtual Agents and Robots" (SLIVAR). Organised by Prof. Roger K. Moore (from COM Speech and Hearing research group and Sheffield Robotics) and colleagues from Kyoto, Paris and the USA, around 40 invited scientists and engineers spent a week discussing the future of speech-based interaction with 'intelligent' agents. A Dagstuhl Seminar is structured less formally than a traditional workshop, with a strong emphasis on interaction and forward thinking rather than scientific papers. For this reason, it is actually forbidden to set an agenda beyond the second day! This creates a productive environment for defining the research agenda and planning potential collaborations. The formal output will be a Dagstuhl Report published in a couple of months time, but many other follow-up activities have been planned, from Journal Special Issues to International workshops. One especially important outcome will be the possibility of developing and releasing tools for 'incremental processing', i.e. the management of continuous streams of multimodal interactive behaviours (including speech).